Gundlach's DoubleLine: Winning at Pimco's expense?

Pimco asks court to dismiss Bill Gross lawsuit

One bond giant's loss may be creating another aspiring bond giant's gain.

The foils of Newport Beach, California-based Pimco have been widely circulated in financial markets, particularly with the messy divorce in 2014 from founder Bill Gross and, earlier, CEO Mohamed El-Erian.

All the publicity has cost the firm billions in client money, with assets under management tumbling from around the $2 trillion mark down to $1.47 trillion. Its flagship Total Return Fund once was the largest bond fund in the world with $293 billion under management, a figure that has dwindled to $93.7 billion.

All that money has to go somewhere, so it's no surprise that other firms are benefiting.

Ron Redell, president of DoubeLineFunds, is being diplomatic, not mentioning Pimco's troubles specifically for a 2015 surge in assets. But the implication is pretty clear.

Jeffrey Gundlach
David A. Grogan | CNBC

"We're seeing outflows in the area in the peer group, but DoubleLine is seeing inflows. Through that empirical evidence, we're taking market share," Redell said during an interview at the Schwab IMPACT 2015 conference in Boston. "So we're taking market share from somebody. You can make assumptions on who that is. We're definitely seeing there's an attractiveness to the stability of our management team."

DoubleLine Funds is the sister entity to DoubleLine Capital, the firm led by Jeff Gundlach, who some in financial circles believe has wrested the title of "bond king" from Gross.

Interestingly, when Gross left Pimco, he reportedly had approached Gundlach about joining DoubleLine, but the partnership never happened. Gross instead went to Denver-based Janus Capital where he runs an unconstrained bond fund.

Over the course of 2015, while Pimco was seeing a decline in assets DoubleLine was growing from about $62 billion to $80 billion — still a far cry from the giants like Pimco and BlackRock, which manages $4.5 trillion, but a significant improvement.

Redell attributes the growth to strong performance and product offerings.

"Fixed income has shifted quite a bit since last year when one of our major competitors had a disruption in management," he said. "Investors are looking for investment managers that offer stability through leadership. That's one of the primary reasons you've seen a lot of investors coming into our firm."

Pimco declined to comment through a spokesman for this report.

Redell said DoubleLine is upping the ante on its product line to stay competitive.

The firm has partnered with Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller in the growing smart-beta field with the $610 million DoubleLine Shiller Enhanced CAPE mutual fund, which has trounced the by gaining 4.7 percent in 2015.

That combines with the other active bond funds the firm offers, with a focus on lower duration,

Redell said the firm plans on launching 14 new products in the first quarter of 2016.